SU business school to honor Alamo founder

Posted: November 13, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Shenandoah University’s Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business will start its third annual Entrepreneurship Week by honoring the founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

Tim League will be presented the Entrepreneur of the Year award on Monday, said Miles Davis, dean of the business school.

A reception for League will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Stimpson Auditorium library, with Davis leading a question-and-answer forum starting at 6 p.m.

“We give [the Entrepreneur of the Year award] to entrepreneurs who have had wide-ranging impact [and] very successful careers,” Davis said.

League, based in Austin, Texas, will be honored for his “innovation.”

“There’s no other franchising of a movie theater,” Davis said. “Movie theaters are all corporate-owned. He came up with this concept, which was entrepreneurial in itself, plus his love of the product.

“He’s a movie guy. The process that he has installed in his franchises — where you can’t talk on the phone or be texting [during a movie] — represents somebody who loves their product. He’s the type of person who’s perfect for the Entrepreneur of the Year award. His success is borne of a passion he has for movies.”

Entrepreneurship Week coincides with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, Davis said.

Founded five decades ago and based in Kansas City, Mo., the Kauffman Foundation has an asset base of around $2 billion, and works to advance education and entrepreneurship, according to its website, kauffman.org.

This is the business school’s third year of presenting the event, Davis said.

Local high school students who have started businesses will also be showcased, along with businesses by Shenandoah University students and others in the area.

“There are two times in life when people are prone to take risks with businesses,” Davis said — when they are young (with little overhead and responsibility), and after a successful career.

On Tuesday, Winchester Downtown Manager Jennifer Bell and Bright Box Theater founder Marilyn Finnemore will discuss the revitalization of the Loudoun Street Mall, starting at 6 p.m.

On Nov. 20, Top of Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce interim President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Guevremont and Family Alliance CEO Jeffrey Hester will discuss the characteristics of entrepreneurs at 6 p.m.

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 20, the student expo will take place.

The Entrepreneurship Week activities are free and open to the public, Davis said. No registration is required.

— Contact Sally Voth atsvoth@winchesterstar.com